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Monday, 23 April 2012

Itatiaia! (again)

We don't have a car either!

A recent post from fellow bloggers Qualidade de Vida inspired me to let the universe know that we don't have a car either! A year and a bit into our adventure and I don't reckon we'll ever have one either. Driving in Rio is not for the feint hearted and taxis, buses, boats (not to mention the slowly expanding metro*) all ensure that we get from A to B and back again all in one piece.

Once in a while, however, our desire to head for the hills means that we hire a car and take off for the weekend. Its not that we can't do it on the bus (we often do) - its just that sometimes there is no substitute for a ride into the wilderness with nearest and dearest. And once in a while that means splashing out R$550 odd for a 1 litre VW to join the loopy Carioca racetrack.

This time we visited Hotel Pousada Esmeralda - a few hours drive out of town and a few kilometres from the entrance to the Itatiaia National Park.

The hospitality was just what the doctor ordered - three hearty meals a day and ducks quacking their way around the place to the delight of our little man.

One thing that I love about Brazilians in a restaurant is just how seriously they take their food, and just how eloquently they describe every last morsel. Now this means that when something is worth complimenting the whole table can pretty much sing together to the glory of the potatoe. I'm not kidding.

And equally if the punters decide that something needs sending back for a 5th and 6th time, then so be it. I've seen the patience of a hundred waiters unabashed by the most discerning of diners.

Anyhow, Pousada Esmeralda does the trick. Proper hearty mountain food. Somehow a trip into the mountains seems so mean that the tourists need to ignore the fact that its still in the mid 20's and wrap up like they're on some sort of polar expidition. This is a place for fondue and log fires. Honest.

Anyhow - if the hulabuloo is all a bit much and you fancy a trip out,  then why not pull on the old hiking boots?

*metro will eventually be so crowded they might need Tokio style 'pushers' to squash the punters in at busy times....

Try one of these....

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